Penn (1-4) at Lehigh (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stabler Arena (5,600) -- Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Penn 1-1, Lehigh 1-0. Away Record: Penn 0-0, Lehigh 0-2. Neutral Record: Penn 0-3, Lehigh 1-0. Conference Record: Penn 0-0, Lehigh 0-0. Series Record: Penn leads, 22-4.
GAME NOTES: Winless outside of The Palestra so far this season, the Penn Quakers try to reverse their fortunes on Tuesday as they clash with the Lehigh Mountain Hawks as part of the consolation rounds of the 2012 NIT Season Tip- Off at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
In fact, not only is Penn winless away from home, the team has now dropped four straight since opening 2012-13 with an 80-75 victory over UMBC back on Nov. 9. Most recently the team was in action on Monday and was dealt a 70-68 setback by Fordham, extending the program's losing streak to four in a row.
Meanwhile, the Mountain Hawks have taken two of their last three outings, including an 82-67 romp over Fairfield during this portion of the tournament on Monday.
From a historical perspective, Penn leads the all-time series by a count of 22-4, although this is a much different Lehigh squad that measures up much better than previous teams.
Penn led by as many as six points less than two minutes into the meeting with Fordham yesterday, but after six ties and 11 lead changes, the Quakers found themselves on the losing side of the two-point decision. Part of the issue for the Quakers is that the team made just 3-of-14 shots behind the three-point line, with Miles Cartwright taking his share of the blame with his 0-of-6 showing on the perimeter. Cartwright did finish with 20 points to match Fran Dougherty for the team high, adding five assists, while Dougherty accounted for eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Despite the disappointing start to the season, Dougherty has at least been consistent with his team-best 20.4 ppg as he shoots 58.0 percent from the floor. Unfortunately, while Dougherty has tried to become a threat on the outside, he has made just 4-of-17. The opposition has been quite successful on the perimeter against Penn thus far, hitting at a 40.6 percent clip.
If there was any doubt who the top player in the Patriot League was again this season, C.J. McCollum may have just proved himself once more as he scored a game-high 35 points against Fairfield in yesterday's meeting. McCollum knocked down 12-of-21 shots from the floor, including 5-of-7 behind the three-point line to help the squad make good on 10-of-20 on the outside, en route to the 15-point home win. Gabe Knutson accounted for 17 points, Holden Greiner 11 rebounds and Mackey McKnight seven assists to go along with his eight points in the triumph. The top scorer for the Mountain Hawks in all four games, McCollum is now putting up 26.8 ppg, but unlike some high scorers who are not always that accurate, the star guard has connected on 51.9 percent from the field and 11-of-21 (.524) behind the three-point line. Knutson often plays in the shadow of McCollum, but if opponents forget about him he is bound to exceed his 13.7 ppg.
With just McCollum the Mountain Hawks are always in prime position to put up a win, but add Knutson to the mix and, at least for today, the outcome shouldn't even be in question.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Lehigh 81, Penn 62
11/20 10:51:09 ET